DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — Craig Lusinger knows that for every follicle of hair that drops to the floor March 7 at Tottie’s, it’s one step or $1 closer to finding cures and treatments for childhood cancer. And all it takes it sitting down in a barber’s chair during the third annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser and letting somebody shave your head.
“It’s pretty amazing to see the people sit in that chair and get their head shaved,” Lusinger said. “But it can’t be just about coming out and getting your head shaved. You need to raise money before you do, and that’s what we really need.”
The fundraiser from noon to 3 p.m. March 7 at Tottie’s, 806 Main St., benefits the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which provides money for childhood cancer research. Childhood cancer isn’t just one disease but a number of cancers and cancer subtypes that affect kids. And while there has been a great deal of research into cancer, much of it focuses on adult cancers.
According to St. Baldrick’s, less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget targets childhood cancer. And in the past two decades, researchers have developed only two new drugs to specifically treat children with cancer. Yet, each year around the world, about 175,000 children learn they have cancer.
Lusinger wants to help stop that. It’s personal to him and many of the folks who participate in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser. Lusinger became aware of the ravages of childhood cancer several years ago when he started bringing youth from the Austin-area cancer centers to his family’s Highland Lakes ranch for hunting and other activities. It wasn’t enough to just give them a few days of adventure and escape, so Lusinger participated in an Austin St. Baldrick’s fundraiser before starting one in Marble Falls three years ago.
The importance of St. Baldrick’s mission comes home each time Lusinger hears of another child who’s been to his ranch passing away. In the last year, Lusinger said three of those youth lost their battle with cancer.
“That’s why this is so important,” he said.
The number of participants in the Marble Falls event has grown a bit stagnant, so Lusinger hopes more people will come out and support the cause. Even if it’s not getting a “haircut,” people can donate to the different individuals or teams taking a seat in the chair.
People help by going to www.stbaldricks.org, searching for “Marble Falls” and then donating online. Another way to connect is through the Marble Falls event’s Facebook page. Just go to www.facebook.com and type in “Marble Falls St. Baldrick’s” in the search window.
Or, call Lusinger at (830) 613-9161.
“If you don’t sign up before the day, you can just show up the day of the event,” Lusinger said. “We have people who do that. But please, whatever you do, show up.”